What defines the value of a life?
Is it the number of limbs one has? The place one is born? The potential financial value one could represent? Maybe it is the belief system one subscribes to? Or is it simply the name one bears?
I guess we each have to decide the answer to this question for ourselves.
Here is MY answer. Whether you believe that life is the creation of some omniscient sky daddy, or a simple accident of chemical reactions, it is a truly amazing thing. Life is the difference between a large barren rock floating through the “ether” and a globe of infinite wonder and change. It is the flavor in the stew that is the universe. Without life the wonder that is existence would go unnoticed; the ultimate masterpiece totally unappreciated. Life is what makes EVERYTHING worthwhile.
So where does that put the end of life?
Ultimately when that end is part of the pattern it is no bad thing. Part of what makes life so unique and notable is the fact that it is ever-changing and evolving, as the old makes way for the new. It is also all the more precious for its shortness relative to the rest of existence. Life comes and life goes, and the wonders continue.
However mankind, in its ultimate arrogance, has given itself the responsibility to decide when life is to be given and when life is to be taken. What exactly gives humans the right to make such profound decisions? Some claim a special connection to the infinite, as if the are somehow superior than every other miracle of being out there. Others just do it out of mismatched pride or ego, or maybe it is simple greed. But life is totally beyond our understanding, let alone our rights. How can we determine where life can exist if we don’t even fully understand what it is?
Humanity has little chance of coexisting with itself let alone the rest of life until we recognize this very simple fact. We can’t pick and choose which deaths are acceptable and which are not. The basic reality is no death is acceptable if it is not part of the pattern. If one kills another for no reason other than personal gain or over reaction to something we choose as immoral… then that killing is wrong. There are no two ways about it.
It does not matter if it is Israel, or Hamas. It does not matter if it is Syria or Iraq. It does not matter if it is Christian or Jewish or Muslim. It does not matter if it is Black or White. It does not even matter if it is child or adult. Taking another life simply for political or financial game is nothing other than WRONG. WE need to stop selectively moralizing when it is ok and when it is not. We need to stop playing the US and THEM game; allowing our own prejudices to say that man should die but this one should not. Politics in NO justification. Greed is NO justification. And most importantly, and most hypocritically, religion is NO justification.
Just stop the killing. Every hand on a trigger is attached to a living deciding being. If everyone decided NOT to pull the trigger, we would actually have a chance. It is up to each of us.